Hey guys. Welcome to the set
of Rachel ’ s English in New York at the YouTube Space.
We’re here with the Rachel’s English teacherTom.
Tom’s been teaching with me since 2012
and has logged hundreds of hours teaching.
So we’re going to sit down in an interview
with Tom today to learn about his lessons. Also,
you’ll get some tips about things
to think about when you’re practicing onyour own.
>> Tom, thank you so much for being here.
>> It’s my pleasure.
> > My first question is,
what is something that new students discover when they first
start taking lessons with you?
>> To be honest, I think students tend
to discover that it ’ s going to be more complicated than they thought.
Many students come into
lessons with a belief that they will work
on the R sound and maybe a couple consonant sounds,
and then, all of a sudden,
their English will have improved dramatically.
And I think
it’s often much more complicated than that.
It tends to be a lot of focus on rhythm.
And a lot of focus on relaxation.>> Yeah.
> > Um, one thing that I think about a lot
with my students and talk about a lot with
my students is that, as an actor,
when I went to school and took speech training—I ’ m
a native speaker of English,
but I was in a speech class—and the first thing we did
was work on relaxation.
Taking this instrumentway back to neutral.
So that we could start from a place of
kind of, discovering some new sounds that I wasn ’ t capable of making
when I went in there.
And that’s as a nativespeaker of English.
> > Speaking about the rhythm of English reminds me,
when I was teaching, that students didn ’ t
realize how much I was going to focus on character.They were just thinking: sounds. But I was
more character-focused. And when they got into it,
他们意识到 哇 这个真的很重要
they realized, wow, this really matters.
To be honest, I think the best lessons
that I do are almost solely based on character,
and then sounds come up.>> Right.
>> And you deal with them in the moment.
Butthose are so easy …
>> Yeah, right.>> …in comparison with dealing with that
character of English.
The way that you moveyour tongue in your mouth.
It’s going to
be very different than you’re used to. So,
if you start correcting that, if you start
playing with that movement,
you ’ re going to find that a lot of sounds take care of themselves.
But you ’ re going to
need to do that by building the character.
>> Notice that Tom’s talking a lot aboutplaying.
And I think that’s one thing
that we don’t do enough.
When we’re learningsomething new, we want to make sure we’re right,
which often brings in extra tension.
But when we think of it as playing, then it
can sort of loosen us up.
And actually, Tom and I
recorded some audio for the book, in
which we ’ re just making random, crazy sounds,
and encouraging people to imitate that.
And that’s the first thing in the book.>> Yeah.
>> And the point is, relax.
Get out of yourself.
This is going to be something different and new.
>> Another thing that can help a student who, maybe,
can ’ t take lessons in person or online,
is to get really interested in how they ’ re
making sound visually.
To use a mirror, touse a camera.
Something that I’ll do with
my students is have them listen to a native speaker ’ s TED talk.
Which as so interesting
and inspirational so often anyway, so it’sinteresting to listen to.
And they have all
their transcripts available.
So you can practice a transcript looking into a camera and record yourself.
And then, watch the native speakerand watch yourself.
And if you notice that
you tend to not drop your jaw at all, you see your teeth,
they ’ re very close together,
then that ’ s a sign that you need to work
on that relaxation of the jaw.
Create a little
more space. So you can start getting,
just really interested in watching other speakers.
And comparing it to your own. That’s,
um,that’s if you’re on your own and you—and
there’s just no one around to help you out.
It’s a good, a good way to do that.
>> That’s a great tip.
>> Tom, what’s something that you’ve learnedfrom your students.
> > I would say that,
有时我会发现一些我很惊讶的事 我会想 噢
something that I was kind of surprised to learn—I went in thinking, oh,
at some point I will feel
like I have it all figured out.
Like it’s just kind
of cut and dried and I will know everything to hand to my students，
and they will simply
take it, and I will just have to say it one way.
And I think, what I’m realizing, is
that we all have incredibly specific histories to the way that we speak.
For me, I grew up
in Indiana. So, the center of the country. But,
I had a father who was a newscaster.
So I grew up with, kind of, broadcaster English.
So when I went to grad school, there was less
that I needed to adjust to find the standardAmerican English. But,
every student has a
very specific history that they’re comingfrom.
The languages they spoke, and then,
the people that they learned English from.
Where were they from?
What kind of accent
were they speaking? And,
so, as I ’ m teaching, each student is,
kind of, teaching me a new
way to talk about concepts.>> Yeah.
>> Because, that’s one of my favorite thingsabout teaching.
It can be frustrating sometimes,
but it ’ s really a joy to
find the best way to communicate a concept to each individual student.
Because it’s always just a littledifferent.
So I think I’ve really learned
how unique we are, in the way that we communicate.
>> And Tom and I were talking last week about how,
sometimes, you ’ ll be working with,
for example, a student from Russia, and you ’ ll
figure out the right way to, to teach something to him or her.
And then—oh, you’ve learned
from the person the right way to teach it.>> Totally.
> > And then the next time you have a Russian student,
then you ’ re all the better prepared
>> Yeah, yeah.
Those are awesome moments.
Those are huge light bulb moments for me as
a teacher, certainly.
> > If a student is preparing for something important,
like a job interview, for example,
and they have a limited amount of time, just a couple weeks maybe.
What would you do to
work with them? What would your prioritiesbe?
> > Well, for all my lessons,
we use a recording project to, kind of,
get them into the lessons.
So they ’ ll send me a recording
that they will record of themselves speaking.
for that week, we would use the text of whatever.
If they had a presentation, we would use the
presentation text. If they had an interview,
they could do a mock interview of themselves speaking.
So they get some practice on the vocabulary
that they ’ re going to use.
we would use the lesson time to really drill that vocabulary,
any concepts, any words
that are a little hard to understand.
We wouldreally kind of get into why it’s hard to understand,
and help them drill those.
Andthen they would have that lesson video throughout
the week to, kind of, focus on those interview-specificconcepts.
And they would practice with that
throughout the week.
And then if they had a couple weeks,
we could come back, see how
that’s going, and adjust. But,
I love inlessons when we have something that specific,
because we can really focus in on vocabulary
that they ’ re using on a daily basis.
And that can be great to help them integrate the practice into their everyday conversation.
> > Now, at the beginning of this interview,
you said one of the first things that students
discover is, sort of, how much work it’sgoing to be.
>> Yeah.>> And how complicated it is. So when you
have a short period of time to work on one goal,
how do you simplify the process, or,
what do you focus on?
>> For that, if it’s just one goal, we really
just focus on succeeding on that, kind of, small world of text.
So it becomes much more
specific about this word,
as opposed to trying to extrapolate major concepts from that word,
we just focus in on,
when you get to this word, remember to drop your jaw, remember
that tongue movement, and drill it a milliontimes this week.
>> So that you can really nail it in the interview
or in your presentation.
>> So, for an interview, it would maybe be
vocabulary specific to that job interview,or whatever.
>> Absolutely>> Just getting comfortable with those core words.
>> Yes. Yeah. I mean, we just dive into the
material that they will be using in that,
whatever environment they ’ re headed into,
so that they can feel as comfortable as possible. The,
the thing is, you can practice as much
as you can, you, maybe you can practice five hours a day. But,
when it comes down to it,
you’re probably going to be nervous in thosesituations.
And so, when you get in the room,
you kind of have to let everything go and just be yourself,
and hope that the
practice kind of comes with you.>> Yeah.
> > Um,
but the best way that that practice is going to come with you is if you ’ ve drilled
and drilled and practiced.
And so, we try
in the lessons to really give a specific kind
of sense of what they need to work
on in their alone time as they practice.
To build up,
and have a successful experience.
Well Tom, thank you so much for
this advice. I appreciate it,
and I hope everyone out there has appreciated it too.
>> And guys, Tom does have availability yet
in his schedule for a few more students.
Soif you’re preparing for an important event,
or you just want to work
with somebody directly on your specific issues,
check out RachelsEnglish.com/lessons.
>> I’d love to work with you.
>> That’s it guys, and thanks so much for
using Rachel’s English.
If you like this video, besure
but don’t stop there, keep learning with my American English
如何练习英语发音 - 访汤姆凯利